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Volunteers Rise by Lifting Others: A Citrus Libraries Volunteer Celebration

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Volunteers Rise by Lifting Others A Citrus Libraries Volunteer Celebration

Volunteers Rise by Lifting Others: A Citrus Libraries Volunteer Celebration

April is a month to celebrate many things, and while National Library Week is usually at the top of our list, there is another, equally important week that we celebrate annually. The Citrus County Library System participates in National Volunteer Week each year, and celebrates the accomplishments of our outstanding volunteers by hosting an annual Volunteer Appreciation and Awards Ceremony.

Our libraries are so fortunate to have such a loyal and passionate group volunteers!  They provide much needed help in so many ways, at the individual branches, at the Book House and book sales, as well as becoming board members of The Friends of the Library and The Library Advisory Board.  Volunteers range from high school students to retirees, each and every one giving their time and energies with a shared love of libraries. This past year, we were so fortunate to have 255 volunteers who gave their time and talents through shelving, programming and more. Included in our total are 56 students from our local high schools earning hours towards potential Bright Futures Scholarships. All in all, the volunteers have contributed almost 13, 000 hours to the library in the last year. While we know that the time they give to Citrus Libraries is invaluable, they contribute more than $375,000 worth of time each year, which is a remarkable amount to this community!

On Saturday, April 20, 2024 the annual Volunteer Appreciation and Award Ceremony was held at the Central Ridge Community Center in Beverly Hills. Our Library Director, Adam Chang, Community Services Director, Eric Head, and a number of staff members from each branch were all in attendance to honor and celebrate this year’s award winners.

During the awards ceremony, each branch and the Adult Literacy service area presented their Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Award to an individual for their service and dedication. These awards were given to the following: Central Ridge Branch, Joan Hescheles; Coastal Region Branch, Jocelyn H.; Floral City Branch, Lisa Louser; Homosassa Branch, Marilyn McKown; Lakes Region Branch, Rosemarie Coyle; Adult Literacy, Rose Hagstrom.

In addition to those six awards, there were two overall awards handed out during the event. The first went to Lecanto High School senior, Natalia Hollohan. Natalia has spent her high school years volunteering at the Floral City branch, but has also visited and assisted with large programs, including C4Con. Natalia is known to always have a smile on her face and is always ready to help in anyway at the branch. The second overall award winner was Lakes Region volunteer Myrta Fontaine. After retiring from libraries, Myrta knew that she still wanted to be involved with the libraries somehow. The staff at the Lakes Region branch welcomed her with open arms, and know who they can always count on when the book carts needing to be reshelved outnumber the hours and staff available. Myrta is an essential part of their volunteer team, and is ready to shelve a cart of youth books whenever the need arises. Thank you to Myrta and Natalia – we truly appreciate how your love for Citrus Libraries has continued to grow over the years!

Citrus Libraries would like to congratulate all of our 2024 award winners. We greatly appreciate all of our volunteers and know that you truly rise by lifting others, and we are full of gratitude for each and every one of you.

For more information on the volunteers and getting involved, you can follow the library on Facebook and Instagram at @CitrusLibraries, and check out our Outside the Stacks library blog for monthly volunteer spotlights at

Dori Boelkens
Customer Service Specialist at Lakes Region Branch

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